The go-to guy: Fritsch custodian gets school ready

Dale Wade, lead custodian at Fritsch Elementary School, works to get the school ready for students to return. Photo by Rick Gunn.

Dale Wade, lead custodian at Fritsch Elementary School, works to get the school ready for students to return. Photo by Rick Gunn.

Before school starts, custodian Dale Wade needs to get the storage room at Fritsch Elementary School cleaned out so it can be used as the physical education room.

But it's hard to stay on track. Walking through the school's office Friday morning, he is stopped by kindergarten teacher Bonnie Hubert.

"The chairs you put in my classroom are too big," she said. "There's no room for your legs under the table."

"OK. I'll take them out, Picky," Wade said, smiling.

As students take advantage of the final days of summer to rest and relax, Wade is hurrying through the busiest part of his year.

"This is the hardest time," he said. "The teachers are setting up, and they're picky. They want new things in, and they're getting rid of old things. They need help getting their bulletin boards up, everything."

As lead custodian, Wade coordinates a four-person staff and is in charge of making sure the school is clean and its appliances all function properly.

"All the kids come to me when they have a ball on the roof," he said. "Some of them call me Mr. Dale, and some just call me Dale."

During the summer, all the floors had to be vacuumed or polished. The walls were painted and desks cleaned.

The worst part of his job is "when you have to do the nasty stuff," which can get tedious. But he said he enjoys it overall.

"It's cool," he said. "I like having fun, and I have fun with the kids and I have fun with the teachers."

Hubert said the teachers are equally fond of Wade.

"I adore Dale," she said. "I look forward to seeing him at the end of the day and having a little conversation with him.

"He's really a genuine person -- he's a person you can count on."

Wade and his wife of 21 years, Ruth, moved to Dayton from New York 14 years ago.

"I love it out here," he said. "It's nicer, and it's not crowded."

He has worked for the Carson City School District for 10 years. His wife is the labor relations representative for the Nevada Classified Employees Association.

Wade has a daughter, Julie Sanford, and 13-year-old grandson, Travis.

Taking a break from cleaning out the storage room, Wade returned Hubert's old chairs to her classrooms and packed up the new ones.

"I'm going to talk another teacher into taking them," he said.

Until then, there are more loads to take to the storage shed.


Carson City Schools begin Tuesday. Here is a schedule of hours.

Elementary Schools:

Bordewich-Bray 8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Empire: 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Fremont: 8:25 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Fritsch: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mark Twain: 8:30 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.

Seeliger: 8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Middle schools

Carson: 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Eagle Valley: 7:55 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Highs schools:

Carson: 8 a.m. to 1:55 p.m.

optional zero period: 7:05 to 7:55 a.m.

Pioneer: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Opportunity: 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment